DAOD 5008-2, Civilian Labour-Management Consultation

1. Introduction

Date of Issue: 2007-08-10

Application: This DAOD is a directive that applies to employees of the Department of National Defence (DND employees) and an order that applies to officers and non-commissioned members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF members) who act as managers or supervisors of DND employees.

Supersession: CPAO 7.20, Labour Management Relations Committees

Approval Authority: Assistant Deputy Minister (Human Resources-Civilian) (ADM(HR-Civ))

Enquiries: Director Labour Relations Policies and Programmes (DLRPP)

2. Overview


2.1 The DND has enjoyed a long-standing and well-established relationship with bargaining agents and unions which represent the interests of DND employees. The Public Service Labour Relations Act (PSLRA) recognizes the importance of effective and harmonious labour-management relations and the DND endorses these principles through ongoing and open labour-management consultation.

2.2 Labour-management consultation is a process that incorporates a respectful, open-minded and frank discussion of issues concerning both parties, with a view to achieving the best possible resolution at the lowest possible level. The DND recognizes the importance of consultation and joint problem solving through a consultation committee framework that supports sustained dialogue, whether it is formal or informal, or at the local, intermediate (i.e. formation, regional, or area) or departmental level.

Effective Labour-Management Consultation

2.3 Effective labour-management consultation at all levels shall be governed by the following principles:

  1. mutual trust and respect;
  2. an understanding and adherence to the consultation process by committee members and those charged with supervisory and leadership responsibilities;
  3. commitment by the parties, if there are disagreements, not to allow delays or stop work on issues that need to be discussed;
  4. equality of the parties within the consultation process and a recognition that both parties have legitimate interests and play an active and important role in the consultation process;
  5. the need for frank and open discussions;
  6. the assurance that commitments are honoured; and
  7. the will to:
    1. resolve issues of concern at the lowest possible level; and
    2. make constructive decisions subsequent to the consultation process.

Benefits of Labour-Management Consultation

2.4 Although the actual decision-making authority rests with management, timely and effective labour-management consultation:

  1. leads to more informed decisions;
  2. promotes an understanding of the other party's views;
  3. helps to reduce and manage conflict; and
  4. improves morale.

When to Consult

2.5 Labour-management consultation shall occur:

  1. when required by collective agreement provisions;
  2. when management contemplates changes to the workplace that affect working conditions; or
  3. when union concerns require discussion or clarification.

Timing of Labour-Management Consultation

2.6 Labour-management consultation may take place through either ad hoc or regularly scheduled meetings and should occur to the extent that it is possible:

  1. as early as possible during the planning phase so that the results of consultation may be considered for incorporation into the ultimate decision; and
  2. prior to decisions being made that affect the other party.

Flexible Arrangements

2.7 The DND recognizes that approaches, mechanisms and agreements aimed at improving labour-management relations may require a degree of flexibility with a view to respecting and adapting to the:

  1. unique nature of the issue and the operational requirements of the DND and the CAF; and
  2. diversity and variation in the requirements of different bargaining agents and unions.

2.8 Accordingly, the parties are not restricted to formal mechanisms and are encouraged, if feasible and permissible, to develop creative and innovative means to achieve enhanced labour-management relations.

Unit Meetings at Local Level

2.9 Unit meetings held to discuss workload and similar issues at the local level are not considered labour-management consultation and are therefore not subject to this DAOD.

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3. Labour-Management Consultation Committees


3.1 The DND shall:

  1. establish and maintain a departmental framework for Labour Management Consultation Committees (LMCCs) that enhances labour-management relations;
  2. ensure that appropriate levels of management are kept informed of the status of issues raised at LMCCs; and
  3. monitor, through periodic review, the efficiency and effectiveness of the:
    1. departmental LMCC process; and
    2. resolution of issues.

3.2 The DND and the CAF shall:

  1. support departmental labour-management consultation by participating in LMCCs with respect, sincerity and openness to the resolution of issues;
  2. work with bargaining agents, unions and all levels of management within the DND with a view to resolving labour-management issues at the lowest possible level; and
  3. consult with bargaining agents and unions on policies, programs and initiatives that will have an impact on DND employees.

Purpose of LMCCs

3.3 LMCCs provide a formalized process by which bargaining agent, union and management representatives regularly convene to discuss matters of mutual interest.

3.4 LMCCs function in a consultative capacity only. They do not in any way interfere with management's obligation to manage, or the rights of unions established by the PSLRA or collective agreements.

Committee Participation

3.5 Attendance at LMCCs is reserved exclusively for recognized committee members. Subject to mutual agreement by co-chairs, guests of either party may be present, however shall not sit at the committee table. Guests must also be formally invited, in writing, by the committee secretary.

Discharge of Duties as LMCC Member

3.6 LMCC members are free to discharge their duties without fear of reprisal, or fear that their relationship with the other party may be affected by an action taken in good faith as an LMCC member.

Scope of LMCCs

3.7 LMCCs shall be held at the departmental, intermediate and local levels. Although many workplace issues may be the subject of labour-management consultation, issues shall be raised at the appropriate level. An LMCC established at any given level shall not reach agreement on matters that:

  1. are beyond their level of responsibility or authority; or
  2. would have the effect of not complying with collective agreements or federal Acts or regulations.

3.8 The following table provides an outline of the issues which are generally dealt with at the various levels:

Committee Issues

Departmental LMCC (or National Union-Management Consultation Committee (UMCC))

DND-wide policies, guidelines, programs and strategic issues

Intermediate LMCCs

Issues applicable to their level or area

Local LMCCs

Operational issues

Items Not Discussed at LMCCs

3.9 The following items shall not be discussed at any LMCC:

  1. matters that would effect changes to collective agreements or federal Acts or regulations;
  2. matters that would breech confidentiality of an individual or any grievance; and
  3. other matters for which there is a formal redress process (e.g. staffing and human rights complaints).

Referral to a Higher or Lower Level

3.10 Generally, either party may refer matters raised at a given level of consultation to either a higher or lower level as deemed appropriate.

3.11 When labour-management consultations fail to resolve an item at any level, either party may refer it to the next level, subject to a full discussion at the previous level. All referrals to a higher level shall be accompanied by supporting documentation or the record of discussion of lower-level meetings.

Establishing Sub-Committees

3.12 While the scope of labour-management consultation addresses all levels of workplace issues, there may be periodic requirements to establish sub-committees for the purpose of:

  1. addressing ongoing or ad hoc matters that may require extensive project work; or
  2. resolving workplace issues of mutual interest through co-development.

Resource Persons

3.13 LMCCs normally involve the use of a variety of resource persons to provide support or technical or specialist advice as required. The use of these resources is encouraged in order to:

  1. improve the overall efficiency of consultation; and
  2. enhance the level of understanding of issues discussed.

3.14 A representative of the ADM(HR-Civ) shall be invited to attend each meeting.

3.15 Resource persons may include:

  1. a committee secretary;
  2. a committee coordinator;
  3. subject matter experts (e.g. general safety officers); and
  4. a human resources officer or advisor.

Joint Labour-Management Training

3.16 The DND fully supports joint labour-management training at all levels of the process in order to foster a better understanding of labour-management relationship. Leave for labour-management training courses shall be granted in accordance with the provisions of the relevant collective agreement.

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4. Composition of Labour-Management Consultation Committees

Management Representatives

4.1 For the purposes of LMCCs, a management representative shall only be:

  1. a CAF member;
  2. a DND employee whose position is excluded from participating in a union or bargaining unit; or
  3. an employee belonging to an unrepresented group.

4.2 Management representatives should have the appropriate level of authority to:

  1. address the issues of concern; and
  2. make decisions related to areas of concern.

4.3 Members of a union or bargaining unit shall not sit as a management representative at any level of labour-management consultation.

4.4 If a management representative cannot attend a scheduled meeting, an alternate person, subject to the above requirements, may be designated to attend on his or her behalf.

Departmental LMCC

4.5 DND management is represented by the following individuals at the departmental LMCC (UMCC):

  1. Deputy Minister (DM) and Level 1 Advisors designated by the DM; and
  2. other management representatives designated by the DM.

4.6 The bargaining agent and union membership at the departmental LMCC may be:

  1. national bargaining agent presidents;
  2. component presidents;
  3. heads of unions; and
  4. union delegates.

Intermediate LMCCs

4.7 Since group and command structures vary across the DND, the establishment of LMCCs at the intermediate level shall be determined, subject to this DAOD, through labour-management consultation at that level.

Local LMCCs

4.8 DND management is represented by the following at local LMCCs:

  1. base or wing commander or unit commanding officer; and
  2. senior officers and other management representatives, subject to this DAOD, designated by the base or wing commander or unit commanding officer.

4.9 The union and bargaining agent membership at the local LMCC may be represented by:

  1. local union presidents;
  2. bargaining agents, or delegates designated to represent employees at that level.

LMCC Chairpersons

4.10 LMCCs shall be co-chaired at all levels by one union and one management co-chairperson who are nominated by the respective parties. The co-chairs may either act as a co-chair to each meeting or alternate as chair from meeting to meeting. The co-chairpersons, at the request and concurrence of either party, may invite persons or speakers to address the meeting on predetermined topics.

4.11 The departmental LMCC shall be co-chaired by the DM on behalf of management.

More Than One Union

4.12 At an establishment where employees are represented by more than one bargaining agent, employee representatives of all bargaining agents shall be invited to sit as members of the LMCC. If labour representation on committees is composed of members from more than one union, the unions select a union chairperson.

LMCC Meetings

4.13 For details regarding LMCC meetings (agenda, record of discussion, location, scheduling, and other logistics), see the Consultation Framework Between the Department of National Defence and Unions Representing National Defence Employees.

5. Responsibilities

Responsibility Table

5.1 The following table identifies the responsibilities associated with this DAOD:

The ... is or are responsible for ...

Director General Labour Relations and Compensation (DGLRC)

  • coordinating, managing and providing secretarial support to departmental LMCCs; and
  • advising Civilian Human Resources Service Centres (CHRSCs) and senior managers on this DAOD.


  • consulting with the DGLRC as required;
  • attending LMCCs, other than departmental LMCCs; and
  • advising managers on this DAOD.

management representatives

  • respecting this DAOD;
  • participating in LMCCs and following up on any action items resulting from LMCC meetings;
  • respecting any decisions made as a result of labour-management consultation;
  • respecting the delegated authorities related to this DAOD and as identified in the Instrument of Delegation of Labour Relations Authorities; and
  • consulting with the CHRSC as required.

6. References

Acts, Regulations, Central Agency Policies and Policy DAOD

Other References

  • DAOD 5005-1, Governance of Civilian Human Resources Management
  • DAOD 5008-1, Use of Departmental Premises and Equipment, and Electronic Networks, for Bargaining Agent or Union Business
  • Co-Development Framework, Department of National Defence
  • Instrument of Delegation of Labour Relations Authorities
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